Harlequin’s Costume by Leonid Yuzefovich


Austria’s high-ranking diplomat has been killed in his Petersburg residence on the Street of Millions – the murder opens Pandora’s Box…

The year is 1871. Prince von Ahrensburg, Austria’s military attaché to St. Petersburg, has been killed in his own bed, on the Street of Millions. The murder threatens diplomatic consequences for Russia so dire that they could alter the course of history. Leading the investigation into the diplomat’s death is Chief Inspector Ivan Putilin.

As the clues accumulate during the police investigation, the list of suspects grows longer; there are even rumors of a werewolf at large in the capital. Suspicion falls on the diplomat’s lover and her cuckolded husband, as well as Russian, Polish, and Italian revolutionaries, to say nothing of Turkish spies.

True to his maxim that “coincidence and passion are the real conspirators,” Putilin looks for answers in the diplomatic circus as well, which leads him to struggles not only with criminals but with the notorious Third Department – the much-feared Tsar’s secret police.

The retro-detective story Harlequins Costume by Leonid Yuzefovich is part of an award winning trilogy about detective Putilin, recently successfully filmed in Russia.

About the author:

  Leonard Yuzefovich is a well-known Russian author, historian and screenwriter, the creator of a trilogy about Ivan Putilin, the master detective. Yuzefovich was born in 1947. He graduates from Perm University and serves in the army, where he becomes interested in Buddhism and Mongolia. Having earned his PhD in Russian diplomatic etiquette of the 15th-17th centuries, Yuzefovich spends many years teaching history in high school. Yuzefovich has published many stories, essays, novels, and historical monographs and won several prizes, including the 2001 National Bestseller prize for Prince of the Wind, another installment in the Putilin trilogy, which was also long-listed for the Smirnoff-Booker prize, and Russia’s 2009 Big Book Award for his contemporary novel Cranes and Pygmies. Since 2000s Yuzefovich works on television, writing screenplays for historical serials and works on film adaptation of his novels.


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